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Frequently Asked Questions About Bridges Trips

What is the Bridges Program?

The Bridges Program is the first part of the Marlboro Orientation Experience. When students arrive on Sunday, August 25th, they will drop off their stuff and embark on a 6 day trip. These trips are designed to give all new and transfer students a common experience and allow them to interact in small groups, get to know some returning students (who design and lead the trips) and be engaged in a common task that reflects some of what brings us together at Marlboro. All students will return to campus from their Bridges trips on Saturday, August 31st when the on-campus portion of Orientation will continue.

Where will these trips take place?

This depends largely on the trip. Some will be in the wilds of Southern VT, some will be closer to the Marlboro campus, and some will go farther afield in New England.

What the will we be doing? 

Itineraries vary widely based on trips. Your leaders will let you know what a typical day may look like in their welcome email. For now, trip descriptions should give you a pretty good idea of the focus of each trip.

Where will we be sleeping? Will I have access to a shower?

Here is the key to the trip labelling system:

Backcountry camping: You will be sleeping in tents in remote sites that have to be hiked or boated into. In some cases you may be at an established site, in others you will be creating a site and practicing low impact camping. There will be no modern facilities, but we will teach you how to be comforatable and hygienic in the woods. 

Primitive Camping: You may begin by sleeping in tents but you will soon learn to make your own shealter and will sleep in it. Leaders will help to make sure that you are comfortable and warm sleeping as our ancestors did. There will be no modern facilities, but we will teach you how to be comforatable and hygienic in the woods. 

Camping: You will be sleeping in tents sometimes at camp-grounds and sometimes in the woods. There will often be bathroom facilities near-by, be they flush toilets, composting toilets, or porto-potties. However, there will be times when there are no modern facilities available. We will teach you how to be comforatable and hygienic in the woods. 

Camping with Basic Facilities: You will be sleeping in tents in camp-grounds. This is what is often referred to as "car camping." There will be basic bathroom facilities and, in some cases, showers. 

Indoor Accomodations: You will be sleeping in a building with modern facilities and, at least, a mattress, in some cases there will be bed frames to go with them. There will be outdoor activities on the trip and may be one night spent sleeping in a tent. 

Can I participate on a trip even if I have no previous experience with the medium?

Absolutely! We encourage you to try new activites and to push your comfort zone. We will teach you how to camp, rock climb, paddle, cave, do a vision fast, etc. Will we force you to do things you really cannot do to do? Never. We strongly believe in challenge by choice. This means that while we will help you to push your boundaries and encourage you to face new challanges if you ever feel unsafe or truely beyond your capabilities we will honor and trust your decision and help you to find a way to thrive and grow that works for you. If you have any questions or concerns about your ability to participate on a particular trip whether your concern be physical, medical, mental, emotional, or experiental please feel free to contact us (emails at bottom of page). 

How much extra is this going to cost me?

Nada. Zilch. Zero. Bridges is the first leg of the Orientation experience. As such, it is free to you.

When will we choose our trips?

Bridges trip descriptions and selection form will be available around June 1st. Trip selection closes on July 15th. 

How will I know what trip I am on? When will I find out?

Shortly after July 15th your trip leaders will send an email to your Marlboro email account. This email will inform you of which trip you are on, what a typical day may look like, and what gear you will need for your trip. We ask that you please respond to this email so that leaders know you recieved it. 

What should I bring?

Shortly after July 15th your trip leaders will send an email to your Marlboro email account. This email will inform you of which trip you are on, what a typical day may look like, and what gear you will need for your trip. There will be a specific list of required personal gear for each trip. We encourage you to pack light because too much stuff can be just as hard to manage as too little stuff. Your leaders will help you through this process and questions can either be directed to them or to bridges@marlboro.edu.

What if I don't have the right equipment for my trip? Do I have to buy it all?

No, no you do not. The OP can lend you most personal gear free of charge for the week.

We have: sleeping bags, sleeping pads, water bottles, headlamps, bug nets, rain coats, rain pants, hats, long underwear top and bottom, stuff sacks, hiking packs, wind pants, wind jackets, and fleece.

We do not have personal clothing or shoes. For these items we recommend asking family and friends first, trying thrift shops second, and then buying new third. If you cannot borrow and buying is an undue burden please contact to OP and we will do our best to help you.

How do I borrow equipment from the OP?

To borrow equipment from the OP send us back a Gear Locker Request Form (we and your leaders will send this out to you in mid-July) as soon as possible because gear is distributed on a first come, first served basis. It will then be waiting for you when you arrive for your trip in August.

Can I purchase my own equipment through the OP?

Yes! You can buy new equipment through the OP at a discounted cost. To do so please visit www.libertymountain.com and then email the OP with a list of the desired items and we will send you back our price (25% below list price on the website). 

Should I bring my cell phone/ ipod / computer / ipad / other electronic device?

Please plan leave all electronic devices behind. As this is a transitional and small group experience we encourage you to immerse fully in the experience for the week. Every trip will have a way to communicate with the greater world so necessary messages will be passed along. We encourage you to take this opportunity to unplug and enjoy the world and people around you. Devices can either be left in your locked dorm room for the week or locked in the Dean's safe. 

I have more questions. What do I do?!?

Contact bridges@marlboro.edu .